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Magnetism

09/22/2007

I’m going to start with some self-indulgent, noncrafty babbling about my day-to-day life, which is so not supposed to be the subject of this blog. Don’t worry, though- indulge me for a paragraph or two and I shall serve up hot and tasty craft as ordered.

Sunset Approaches
Sunset Approaches

It’s well over a week later and I’m still grinning about my little adventure down to Denver for the September 11th Rilo Kiley show. This show was in the Odgen, a venue wherein standing up front (my local of choice) means leaning on the stage trying not to trip anyone up there or elbow an amp. The first band up, Grand Ole Party, was quite awesome (with obligatory “How do you Colorado people breathe?” comment- non-acclimated folk always tend to be a little surprised by our thin air, as if they never quite believed the atmosphere itself could shift on them), and their album has found its way into my regular rotation. Check them out, seriously.

Next up was Johnathan Rice, who also rocked verily. Rice himself seemed a bit, shall we say, confused up there on the stage (altitude again?), but that only made him that much more amusing. One interesting moment came after the second set, when the guitarist meandered over, reached down to shake my hand, and thanked me for being his inspiration for that night. I mustered up all the eloquence, all the indie cool I had at my disposal, and in my best “I’m too sexy for this concert” fashion, proceeded to (you guessed it!) panic and make a stumbling fool of myself. Go team! I believe the most accurate translation for the gibberish I managed to spit out would be a very squeaky “Oh um uhh… thankyoulots*blush*.”

I’ve done pretty damn well at beating the overwhelmingly shy part of myself into submission over the years, but you can still catch her if you surprise me. For now.

And Rilo Kiley? Too much fun for words: they are an amazing band, and a great live show. I’m still dancing. I honestly am not sure how to articulate just how much I enjoyed myself. I danced (badly, but happily), I sang myself scratchy, and I even didn’t make an utter prat of myself when their badass-guitarist-disguised-as-porcelain-doll, Blake Sennett, clamored down into the audience right on top of my head. Once again, the entirety of my cool was mustered and manifested in… not much, but at least not gibberish this time, so I’m declaring victory. I even managed a polite “Hello, I do appreciate coming down into the masses, but you are standing on my toe,” though there’s no way I could have been heard through all the squealing people. I would have liked to shake his hand and say thanks (I’m not one for the squealing and the jumping, at least not for a guy with a guitar), but he was kind of busy with said guitar and all the aforementioned squealing and jumping and “OMG I LOVE YOU” people

All in all: good show. And if Mr. “Thanks for the Inspiration” is out there, here’s my coherent response: Thank you, for a great show and a great compliment. You went a long way towards making my night.

* * * *

Back to the crafty goodness! Today I bring you fun with magnetic beads. My first try at this kind of jewelry is actually older than this blog, and was made by ripping up a magnetic necklace I inherited from my Grandmother:

The Original
The Original

It’s a very simple scheme: rather than make a necklace with a clasp and such, you take a long filament and evenly (and frequently) string magnetic beads into your design. The jewelry is worn simply by wrapping it around whatever appendage it fits (and I’ve seen people get very, and indeed disturbingly, creative with “whatever appendage it fits”) in such a fashion that the magnetic beads stick together to hold it all on. They are quite simple to make and addictively fun to play with (what if you wore two? what if you braided two before putting them on? what all can you wrap in beads, including targets not on your body?), if one has the right materials. Grandma’s necklace was the right materials: those beads hold like their little lives depend on it. Unfortunately, that particular reconstruction only gave me enough material for the prototype piece.

I’ve since tried to find strong enough magnetic beads to duplicate the idea. My first try, with a string purchased at a local bead store, was nowhere near strong enough: it typically is not desirable for one’s product to go whipping violently off the wrist and across the room, a sparkly string of destruction, whenever the customer dares move their arm at anything but tortoise-speed. Alas, I packed the idea away for a time.

Recently, however, I picked up some magnet beads that seemed slightly better (these things need ratings of some form) and sat down to remake the things, with faint hope in my heart. They certainly looked shiny:

In Purple
In Purple

For the Neck
For the Neck

For the Wrist
For the Wrist

And the magnets were certainly, well, magnetic:

In Red
In Red

As a necklace
Neck…

As a bracelet
And wrist.

But actual on-the-road trials (or on-the-body, as may be) found that, while these make serviceable chokers for even the most dedicated head bangers; their hold is still not strong enough for wildly flailing wrists. Alas, I would like to serve the spastic mosh pit sorts just as much as the sedate artist’s-model crew, and thus my search continues.

I bet I could sell them for serious bucks if I lost all my moral grounding and spewed some atrocious magnetism woo, but the scientist in me (the scientist that is me) would have to commit ritual suicide for the crime of dishonor. I may be a poor college student who looks longingly at things like concert tickets and warm clothing and, y’know, food, but I couldn’t sink that low without vomiting. Maybe I should just sell them as fridge magnets and forget the jewelry part:

Even for the Fridge!
Even for the Fridge!

* * * *

Final blog topic of the day: I want to write a tutorial, but I don’t know what of. This is your chance. Is there anything in my blog, in the pictures I have uploaded but may not have posted to said blog, or in my store that you’d like to know how to do? Hell, go for the esoteric ones even: “how do you balance this and that”, “how do you stay sane as a fifth-year college student”, etc. I may say “I’m not sure how to put that in tutorial form, but here’s a few pointers” or “I won’t write my own up, but here’s the tutorial I got the idea from”, but I can promise you I won’t say “No, that’s my trade secret.” I don’t operate like that (it’s that pesky scientist-thing again), even if it isn’t the best business practice.

Knowledge is for sharing. What would you like to know?

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